2018 has been a quiet year so far for performances of the Gospels of Mark and John. Both were performed in Calgary in February, and John was performed in April in Vancouver. There is a local performance of Mark coming up in September at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in West Vanouver and then, as of this writing, nothing booked until the First Sunday in Lent, March 10th 2019 when I will be performing the Gospel of John at St. John the Divine Anglican Church in Courtenay BC. It would be good to see if I can arrange a mini tour at some point in 2019, so if you are interested in being part of this, please get in touch!
After the extended study-leave/sabbatical study leave last year (2015) of 28 dates in the United States and Canada between April and June, things have gone a bit quiet for me on the Testament of a Naked Man front! Perhaps, after that extended tour, I needed a sabbatical from the sabbatical! Certainly I’ve needed time to devote to my “day-job” and other aspects of my ministry.
Since the tour, I have done only one outside date (and one “home” date at St. Francis-in-the-Wood, West Vancouver), and I have led one weekend retreat on the Gospel of John – “Word of Light,” an Advent retreat at Rivendell Retreat Centre on Bowen Island. In fact, of late I have been doing quite a bit of work on the Gospel of John which I have now learned in its entirety in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. I have been working with Carol Coulson, my “acting coach,” working out how we might present John for dramatic performance.
The challenge we are finding with John’s Gospel is that there is much less narrative than with Mark’s Gospel, and much more dialogue – or, more specifically, monologue, as it involves extended discourses by Jesus. Obviously, there are the last supper discourses in chapters 13 through 17, but much of the rest of the Gospel also involves Jesus speaking. For example, much of chapters 5-8 are Jesus in discussion, debate, conflict with others, mainly religious authorities. So the challenge is, how do we present this material in a way that keeps the attention of the audience?
It is coming together, and hopefully we may be able to present a first public dramatization (by me) of the Gospel of John later this year. Meanwhile, I am certainly available for bookings of “Testament of a Naked Man – Good News According to Mark,” and in fact would welcome the opportunity to “keep my hand in,” so to speak! So, if you are interested in having me come to you, please get in touch with me.
The past week once again seems to have been fairly full, beginning with three consecutive performances following the conclusion of the Merton Conference in Louisville. All seemed to go well. Then I got to have a day-off on Wednesday so headed to Sandy Hook on the Jersey shore with a great view of Manhattan and Long Island before heading north through the NYC traffic to Maine. Continue reading
Now in Louisville, Kentucky at Bellarmine University for the International Thomas Merton Society Conference where Rowan Williams gave a very inspirational talk last night on “Words, War and Silence: Thomas Merton for the 21st Century.” Continue reading
From St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton, North Carolina last week I drove to the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina and spent four delicious days over the Memorial Day weekend at a beautiful National Park Service campground at Cape Point on Hatteras Island enjoying the sun and warmth as well as the sea and sand and catching up on my reading. Continue reading
Being familiar with the words of Jesus in the Gospels doesn’t make it any easier. Doesn’t mean I have greater insight or that somehow they are less disconcerting and perplexing at times. In many ways, being more familiar with these words means that they cannot be forgotten or obscured by all the other things that life brings in to mute the challenge of such words. Continue reading
I am now in Rutherfordton, North Carolina where I performed at St. Francis Episcopal Church last night for a particularly engaged and appreciative (and quite large) gathering of people, a number of whom are doing EFM (Education for Ministry). There have been a number of EFM groups attend in various places I have been to, and they always seem to be particularly clued in, perhaps because they have already studied Mark’s Gospel in some depth.
St Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton, NC. Note the similarity of the lychgate with that of St. Francis-in-the-Wood. Continue reading
“They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them, and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.” So begins the third “act” of my dramatization Testament of a Naked Man. A striking image as we begin the journey, or the final part of the journey, to the cross. I imagine Jesus resolute, jaw set, striding into whatever awaits him; and according to the story, he had a pretty good idea of what awaited him, as is made explicit in the next verses when he takes the twelve aside again and tells them what is to happen to him. Continue reading
It’s been a very full week, to say the least beginning with last Saturday evening, May 2 when I was in Ardmore, Oklahoma for the first of two performances of “Testament of a Naked Man” within 24 hours – preaching there on the Sunday morning (at three services) and then hot-footing it down to Sherman, Texas to perform at 3pm.